Santa Cruz 650B V10 - Mont Sainte Anne World Cup

Aug 1, 2014
by Mike Levy  
The 650B wheeled V10 is a bit like a rumbling volcano in that pretty much everyone knew that it was going to happen, but not many knew exactly when. There were murmurs of it breaking cover in South Africa earlier in the season, and then some intel that Fort William would see the curtain pulled back, but it seems as though either Santa Cruz or their World Cup racers weren't ready to introduce the new machine until this weekend's Canadian World Cup round on the legendary Mont Sainte Anne track. What's that? Getting a bit tired of all these "new" bikes with slightly larger wheels? I hear you, but Santa Cruz making the switch, and the fact that they're one of the last major players to debut a 650B downhill bike, is a quite the omen when you consider that the 26" wheeled V10, in all of its different incarnations, is the winningest downhill race bike ever built. It should come as no surprise that the 650B version closely mirrors the lines of the 26" machine - why would Santa Cruz make a wholesale change in design when it's obvious that the bike is already a proven performer?


Santa Cruz 650B V10 Photo by Dave Trumpore
  Greg Minnaar's 650B V10 in Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec. The bigger wheels are obvious, but what other changes have Santa Cruz implemented?


The bigger wheels are only part of the story, however, as we suspect that there are some changes to the bike that are far less obvious. Santa Cruz wouldn't comment, of course, but I don't think it's too out of line to assume that although the frame looks nearly identical to the previous model, it likely sports a revised carbon layup that either makes it a) lighter, b) stronger or c) both. This is 100% speculation on my part, but if Santa Cruz invested in new and expensive molds for the 650B frame, they have also likely applied what they've learned about carbon fiber since they debuted the first V10c. There are slight differences in the bike's top tube and seat mast area as well, with the new bike featuring a straighter but lower top tube and a more angular shape at the seat mast, differences that can be seen in the rough overlay of the old and new bikes pictured to the right. Small differences, no doubt, but indicative of tweaks to its carbon layup.

And what about the bike's geometry? It would have had to be altered in order to compensate for the larger diameter wheels, with more bottom bracket drop built into the frame and tweaks to the head angle and trail figures (via the 650B specific FOX 40 Float RC2). Again, Santa Cruz hasn't confirmed or denied anything in terms of geometry, but it's safe to say that there have been some updates.

Santa Cruz 650B V10 Photo by Dave Trumpore
  Josh Bryceland's bike is fitted with FOX's prototype DH shock that has come from the company's Racing Applications Development Program, and word is that the four-way adjustable damper also employs a twin-tube layout.


The new bike was always going to use the VPP suspension layout, but we've got word from the pits that Santa Cruz has made some subtle changes to the leverage ratio. Comparing the old and new bikes side by side does seem to support this, with the new version's shock looking like it's sitting on a slightly different angle within the frame, and the upper link sporting a moderately different shape. There's no word on what Santa Cruz might be aiming to accomplish with these changes. There doesn't appear to be any updates to the bike's swingarm, and a close look at the amount of tire clearance out back hints that it may even be the same unit as found on the 26" bike given that there appears to actually be less clearance.

Santa Cruz 650B V10 Photo by Dave Trumpore


Stay tuned to Pinkbike for more information on the new 650B V10



135 Comments

  • 251 10
 my sister said this was ugly i kicked her out of the house..... she six..
  • 84 2
 builds character lol
  • 74 5
 Tell her Justin Bieber's ugly, that'll teach her.....most of his fans are 6 right?
  • 44 6
 Sadly most Bieber fans are adult women.
  • 18 1
 It's a rough life. She should learn to be more respectful. She will grow from the mean streets, and in time, realize the errors of her ways. Probably in about 20 or so years.
  • 4 7
 reeeeeeeeeek i love v 10s
  • 37 0
 justin bieber is a prick
  • 14 71
flag jonnycanfield (Jul 31, 2014 at 22:12) (Below Threshold)
 The paint job is ugly
  • 13 0
 Yes, many fans are adult women. And the rest are creepy, old men... Think of the neighbor, Herbert, from Family Guy....
  • 8 10
 The v10 is my favourite bike. But I have to agree with jonnycanfield. I don't like the colour scheme. Goin from that amazing Matt black with lime green of Orange decals. That looked awesome. This just don't hit the mark for me. Still think it's the best frame shape, that's what spray cans are for. And SPS use them. Peaty for king, ratboy for champs!!
  • 7 2
 U should have slapped her one on her way out the door just to make sure
  • 4 11
flag biker3335 (Aug 1, 2014 at 0:01) (Below Threshold)
 @jonnycanfield totally agree
  • 14 1
 who s justin Bieber?
  • 3 8
flag PaulsBikeFlies (Aug 1, 2014 at 9:48) (Below Threshold)
 I wouldnt get this bike, I think that in order for me to make it to the top of the world cup cicruit i'll need a bike thats lopsided, maybe like the demo, yeah the demo will get me there
  • 3 8
flag themountain (Aug 1, 2014 at 12:42) (Below Threshold)
 Unfortunetely, even when she is only six she is right Razz
  • 3 0
 I would not let the bieber even clean this V10
  • 1 4
 Yo dipshits, this is the Syndicate colourway
  • 2 0
 Slaps... If you don't like this bike? That's what you get... Slaps
  • 1 0
 Facepalm who could not LOVE this bike.....except, well Justin Beiber, PRICK!
  • 1 0
 I think she will learn in 27.5 years that he is a prick
  • 63 5
 My cat's breath smells like cat food.
  • 35 3
 my cats butt hole looks like an asterisk
  • 17 41
flag Lilshredman (Jul 31, 2014 at 20:24) (Below Threshold)
 I kick cats
  • 11 14
 They taste like burning.
  • 5 1
 they call them fingers....but ive never seen them fing?
  • 3 1
 I bent my wookie.
  • 3 1
 Go banana!
  • 4 1
 What is this discussion about?
  • 5 1
 oh, hi super nintendo Chalmers!
  • 1 2
 I'm a unitard
  • 35 3
 It's evolution not revolution. The v10 was already a killer design with so many wins under it's belt. It's nice to see that SC didn't feel the need to make it look a lot different for the sake of marketing it as newer. Can't wait to see the Syndicate team on the new rig. Those guys are a riot.
  • 2 7
flag Silliker269 (Jul 31, 2014 at 22:07) (Below Threshold)
 It will be interesting to see if there results improve, I think they will, they seemed off the mark on some of the chunkier tracks
  • 2 4
 It won't make them faster. .. it just makes them COOLER
  • 42 17
 Puts that Demo to shame!!! (hiding from the fanboys)
  • 42 8
 both are fucking awesome
  • 21 10
 Compared to that Demo this bike looks at least 3 years old.
  • 15 13
 Looks alone, this kills the demo.
  • 7 11
flag jclnv (Jul 31, 2014 at 22:44) (Below Threshold)
 Looks are subjective but in design details they're worlds apart.

The link integration on the Demo, the internal routing, the seatstay/dropout/postmount section, the way they've done the concentric pivot.

The V-10 is so dated with it's ugly upper link mounted to the toptube, crap routing (still), IS mount etc.
  • 6 0
 Ehm the routing on the V10 is the best, only the fork has to be slid down for a brake or gear cable change/fix. For instance your at a park riding and smash the mech, it takes 1 min to take of the entire mech, cable and pod so you can ride the rest of the day ss. Or you are building the bike up late at night and are a bit sleepy it is rather easy to slap on the brake/gear. Function over form everyday!
  • 11 2
 Ya, but the demo has that thing that lets you take a shock out faster. Everyone should cut part of their bike in half so i can mindlessly take my shock on and off. I mean what else really matters
  • 1 0
 You're riding a one of these SS, even temporarily? good luck with chain growth there guy.
  • 9 0
 Looks like a V10
  • 11 1
 It was only the other day at a previous world cup Greg Minaar said in an interview, I think with Rob Warner, something like: "we have looked into 650b but I still prefer the acceleration of 26" for downhill so we are staying with it"... Marketing wins over preference here I think. Greg Minaar had his mind changed!
  • 8 2
 Or he didn't want to say they might make the switch and ruin the surprise of the new rig.
  • 13 0
 Surprise!!?? Is anyone surprised?
  • 4 8
flag treymotleyDH (Jul 31, 2014 at 21:34) (Below Threshold)
 The bike kind of came out of no where so yeah kind of
  • 3 2
 Yeah thats probably what he thought until they got the stop watch out
  • 7 3
 As much as I'd love to believe there's no big 'planned obsolescence' conspiracy within the industry, I have yet to see any actual evidence 650b is faster... some people claim it 'feels faster' notably because it smooths small bumps out better, on paper it might make sense if you choose your criteria to include... but nowhere anywhere have I seen any timed runs stats on the same spec'd bike with the same rider. I'm curious to know how much faster 650b is and on what kind of trail.
  • 4 3
 It feels more stable and with the bumps your bike is gonna use less energy going over those bumps. Less energy wasted means more times gained. Now for a regular rider standpoint it won't make you a hell of a lot faster but it helps. I enjoy my 650b bike. I feel faster and I like going fast. So if I feel fast I'm havin a good time. Even if it is a little bit of marketing I'm having a good time riding smooth and feelin fast lol. Plus on a subconscious level the smoother you feel the faster you are gonna want to go. Puts you more in the zone if you will
  • 4 1
 that's true, like driving a 70's car at 100mph and a brand new 2015 model car at 100mph, both the same speed but it will feel effortless in a new car as its smoother and quieter, whereas it would feel scary fast in an old car.
  • 5 0
 Yeah pretty much. Gotta say it's pretty cool having an actual discussion on the wheel sizes rather than a fight lol.
  • 5 4
 CTD07, I have many, many hours of Strava sections on my local trails on 26", 29" and 27.5" Anthems.Short descents, steep climbs and all loops were faster on the 27.5 - back to back weekends on different bikes so I was not fitter than the previous weekend. I know Strava is not perfectly accurate, but even my second and third fastest times are on the 27.5 and I have fewest miles on 27.5 (only 2500km). I'm convinced. I know that I am not talking about a very rough DH trail, but from my own learning if I was to get back into DH racing I would be buying a 27.5.

I have heard from a very reliable source that Giant were comparing times with their DH riders down the same course on 26" and 27.5". The Glory will be released next week - guess what the wheel size will be?
  • 5 0
 Hmm so the 650b conspiracy runs deeper than I thought, they even have Strava on their side! haha. I does seem 650b is faster, still hate it when a standard disappears though, soon you'll be forced to buy a new bike when it comes time to upgrade a 26" because you can't get 26" suspension forks or wheels anymore...

@treymotleyDH - just go on pinkbike or youtube, any thread of comments, everyone argues like crazy, you get someone who sounds really informed and knowledgeable on a subject and then straight away is shot down by someone else who convincingly knows otherwise, fact is both people are normally right in one way or another, nothing is black and white and then there's personal preference involved to... on a grander scale, its why there will always be wars, discrimination & class difference, it all comes down to pinkbike and youtube users! hehe
  • 6 7
 And Strava is accurate ???? I call BS on your tests. My Strava times vary hugely on the same bike from run to run and you are riding different bikes, maybe different components and geo and you say you have proof. Next story please.
  • 1 3
 Conspiracy ?! haha Yes that's why damn near every team is running it now ... throw some 20" wheels on your DH bike and see how you get down through the chunk, its not gonna be pretty
  • 1 0
 I do feel for the riders who aren't down for 650b and are loosing options in bikes. It blows. But at the same time the riders who aren't down for 650b haven't ridden one. One website did a study (I forgot which) on their users and how many who think the wheel size was a hoax. More than 50% who thought it was a hoax also haven't tried the new wheel size. For people who have tried the new wheel size it was something close to 30% thought it was a hoax. Idk how accurate the survey was or what kind of riders they asked but still
  • 1 0
 I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just saying a lot of people give an opinion with out having any experience with the new wheel. If you look at the survey it shows people opinions change after they try it. I'm just saying they should keep their mind open.
  • 1 0
 Should've just let the cat outta the bag in Ft Bill rather than make PB take down the picture
  • 7 0
 So, when are you guys gonna do an article about the new Norco Aurum Carbon 650b?
  • 9 6
 not actually a fan of the paint job. but im excited to see the syndicate guys shred on it. also surprising that they are going over to 27.5 right after they won the last world cup on 26... regardless it will be some good racing this weekend!
  • 3 1
 i think the paint job looks amazing
  • 2 1
 I'm actually surprised how much distaste there is for the new paint. I feel like it makes the bike, slightly: if they'd brought out the 650b version with a similar paint job to the old ones, there'd be even more complaints that it's the same bike.

I really like it.
  • 12 5
 Id pick this over the new demo for sure.
  • 6 0
 Can I have your old bike please Greg?
  • 2 0
 If the overlay image is accurate Santa Cruz have found a way of accommodating the larger rear wheel without increasing the rear-centre. The lower short link does seem to curl around the BB more than before with the anchored pivot now above (that was always the case) and in front of (that's new) the BB. So, whereas previously the short link mostly sat behind the BB now it is overlapped with it. With this kind of change changes to the upper link would also be expected and that appears to have happened too.
  • 1 0
 I asked today if any of the parts carry over or are compatible with the 26" bike (swingarm, links, etc) and the answer was no, it's all new. As for geo, he said it is 20mm longer than before. Bryceland has switched from XL to L, but they all still run offset cups. With longer TT they started on 50mm stems but are now back to 60mm.
  • 1 0
 I'd love to be able to try one out yet that is highly unlikely here in Japan where only the more enlightened distributors build up demo bikes and send them around the country.

Last year in BC I spent a day each on a V10, Aurum, 951 and a Demo and for me the V10 was the most difficult one for me to feel at home with so it would be great to be able to do that again on 650b versions of the four and see if anything has changed my opinion, which was by the way Aurum > 951 > Demo > V10. Has anyone at Dirt got any plans for a 650b DH bike comparison test?
  • 3 0
 Emigrate
  • 2 0
 I did already!
  • 1 0
 To a place who stock santa cruz v10
  • 1 0
 I'm glad I'm not the only one who preferred the 951 over the demo.
  • 1 0
 I don't think it's very cool that a team can introduce a black box bike design in mid World Cup competition. I think you should have to at least run a new bike design in the season opener. If it doesn't work on that day, refine your design and bring it back to another race for testing. Use that season for testing. It's your prerogative. You should have to at least run your new design in the opener. I think it's a form of CHEATING if you don't. O.K. PBers, start throwing your stones.
  • 4 2
 WOW first the Demo and now this! Such a nice bike. Looks like this will be the race to see which new frame will take the win?
  • 4 1
 Yeah, and endless squabble and chatter over riders vs bikes in this next round.

Simply put, this season is awesome with a different rider every round! There are lots of lads there in take the win form all on different rigs, and until now, different wheel sizes.

That said, if Loic wins, are we all going to want Lapierres?
If Troy wins will we say it's the new Demo?
If Arron wins will we say, "Well of course, it's Arron Gwin"?
If Rat wins will we all want V10's? --- (Most of us do any)
If Peaty wins will the internet explode?
If Gee, was it Gee or the GT?

All great riders (including those not mentioned) and great bikes. The races are nearly impossible to guess anymore, but the arm chair consideration is fun.
  • 2 1
 one thing for sure, wheel size should no longer be a discussion in regard to a winning or losing race run. glad that's over...
  • 3 0
 If Peaty or Sam wins, I might explode, I will say that.
  • 1 0
 haha if steve peat win the internet will explode
  • 1 0
 @shuwukong: I always want Peaty to win. :-)
  • 3 0
 ()()()()______________EXPLOSION_____________()()()() SAAAAAAAAMMMMM HIIIIIILLLLLLLL!
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: How epic is that!?!?!?!? I always liked the Nukeproof stuff.
  • 4 2
 Looks like a dual suspension setting H/L> Hopefully this will make the bike more progressive in 10 mode . Cool grease port on the lower link too
  • 2 1
 i own a v-10 and i cant figure out what your taking about. the v-10 has always been 8.5 and 10.5 on the rear. this looks almost the same.
  • 2 0
 The previous 2 V 10 `s had 8.5 and 10 inch mode , the lower link on this frame has" H" and" L" on it , maybe the frame will run in 10 inch mode but has a shock leverage tune just speculating >
  • 1 0
 Vernonjeff check out the pic of the non drive side showing the lower link . Its really different in size , markings and port placement .
  • 1 0
 I don't know anyone fast who runs the 10.5" setting on the 26" bike. It really isn't necessary. Hoping they made it more of a high bb/low bb setting as opposed to a travel setting. The vpp @ 8" is awesome enough for everything but Bender style hucks to flat. The 10" setting removed the sensitivity and boostability of the bike.
  • 1 0
 Im running it but I tend to overshoot transitions.
  • 1 0
 Have you tried scrubbing harder? ;-)
Possible to overshoot just about any tranny, even in Whistler.
But there's always crabapple 3#...
  • 1 0
 Orangesicle : I dont think anyone knows a rider that runs it in 10.5 mode as its ether 8.5 0r 10 inch . Mate its a V10 ! . But you hope the new lower link is BB hight adjust ? , but you think 8 inch travel is enough ? . Oh and you dont know anyone fast that runs VPP in 10.5 ,,,, . If you just wanted to lay crap on people you really came to the right place . Good on ya
  • 2 0
 Sc cockpits are finally getting some breathing room!
2015 bikes should have 23.4, 24.5, 25.5 toptubes for s, m , l, respectively..if not longer ala mondraker/canyon.
  • 5 1
 I'd take this bike over the new demo any day.
  • 2 1
 This season is kind of awesome. Basically every manufacturer now has a high-end 650b DH-rig in its portfolio. So if you're looking for a new bike and got some coin to burn.....
  • 2 0
 This season is awesome because all the top riders are riding right with each other, making for exciting races. I still feel like Ft. Bill was the best race I've ever watched.
  • 2 0
 every last few riders came down with a faster time, esp sam hill! thought he would win
  • 5 2
 I'd be more surprised if they didn't go 650 this year.
  • 2 1
 Looks like the lower link may be tucked up into the frame similar to the new Nomad. Curious to see more info on it and the production model specs/geo.
  • 3 1
 I had the 2014 carbon v10 and I tried to get a 27.5 rear wheel installed and did not work. Yes, it is a new swingarm.
  • 2 0
 Why pure white???? Bring back the Red/white/Black scheme for this new creature!
  • 2 1
 "why would Santa Cruz make a wholesale change in design when it's obvious that the bike is already a proven performer?"

I dunno... ask them about the Nomad...
  • 3 0
 Demo vs. V10... Mont Sainte Anne.... Round 1... FIGHT!
  • 2 0
 If ratboy & minarbar & peaty go 1 & 2 & 3, does that count as a... FLAWLESS VICTORY?
  • 1 0
 I literally just sold my 06 demo 9 pro and a 2014 trek fuel ex8 ANNNDD my 05 volvo xc90 to buy this bike... worth it you ask ??? yyyes.
  • 5 3
 Still doesnt do anything for me.
  • 2 0
 I'm sensing a santa cruz - specialized rivalry forming...
  • 2 0
 Shorter shock stroke maybe? Spring is 500x2.80
  • 1 0
 the first carbon had 450x 2.80 on the fox springs but were a 3 inch stroke .
  • 3 1
 650B! It makes you half a second faster!
  • 3 2
 Always love the v10!!!!!!
  • 4 3
 ___________o^o_________ BY BY __________O^O__________
  • 2 1
 Thats pretty cool
  • 3 1
 f*cking 27,5 :X
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know if there will be any other colors?
  • 1 0
 Ugh I wish I was rich. Such a sexy bike
  • 1 0
 Can't wait till next season!
  • 1 1
 Tube tubes, a new integral feature of 650b frames.
  • 4 5
 do like the move to 27.5 but think this is one of the best paint schemes yet nice work S.C good luck lads!
  • 1 1
 SANTA CRUZ, TAKE MY MONEY
  • 1 0
 New V-10 #1
  • 1 0
 Any geo chart please?
  • 1 1
 On pink bike: YOU SHALL NOT SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT SANTA CRUZ
  • 1 0
 now THIS is a Y frame.
  • 1 1
 _____o^o_______ By By ________O^O_________
  • 3 4
 and the v10 slashes back haha
  • 12 14
 For me it's 26. but i am yet to try 650b so i cant judge. Overall....29ers still are the worst
  • 5 1
 Try it homie. At least on a good test rig. You probably won't go back
  • 1 0
 I think I am getting persuaded. The argument for is a better obstacle roll over and pretty much the same handling. I still don't like the idea of service and parts compatibility mess they are creating with this new magical size.
  • 2 3
 Its gonna be a enlightening day when the bike gets its first scratch
  • 4 0
 why? carbon doesn't just explode the moment you scratch it lol. Pretty tough to get through the gelcoat into the actual fibers
  • 1 0
 did i say anything about exploding
  • 3 3
 650b is bad
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